Why These 'Cool Images' May Send You Scurrying For Disinfectant!

By Meera Dolasia on March 2, 2013

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At first glance, these pictures seem a little intriguing and even appear cool to some of you. However, that opinion may change once you realize that the images are not some kind of modern art but instead, those of actual bacteria that thrive upon the touchscreens of all smart phones.

The photos are a result of a classroom experiment recently conducted by the students of England's University of Surrey for their Practical and Biomedical Bacteriology unit. They began by lifting an imprint off their smartphone screens and transferring it to bacterial growth Petri dishes.

Within three days, the students were rewarded for their efforts with many different kinds of 'cool images' - All belonging to the different bacterium that were happily thriving on their respective cell phones. The good news is that most of them were like the genus Micrococcus, a harmless bacteria that is commonly found on human skin.

A few however, did have the Staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria responsible for ailments like staph infections and food poisoning. But Dr. Simon, the professor that assigned the experiment, was not fazed by that either - That's because 20% of people are persistent carriers of this bacteria while over 60% carry it intermittently!

Another common thing found was bacteria from things the owners had recently touched. For example, one Petri dish featured a dense colony of Bacillus mycoldes - A bacteria that normally thrive in soil, which led the professor to rightfully conclude that the owner of the cellphone had recently been gardening or somehow come in contact with mud. Not surprisingly, touchscreen phones harbored more bacteria than ones with keypads - Time to revert to good old flip phones again?

Resources: Dailymail.co.uk, gizmag.com

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358 Comments
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  • that_guy_244/15/2014
    that's awesome!!!!!! it looked like a painting!!!!!
    • darthlord
      darthlord4/3/2014
      NEVER TOUCH MY PHONE AGAIN
      • emi3/30/2014
        I always touch my iPhone, now I think I will never look at it in the same way. :|-
        • em3/30/2014
          eww,thats soooo gross
          • kell-bell
            kell-bell3/30/2014
            some reason this dosnt freak me out. I mean, there are trillions of little bugs (hey, they are much more freky looking than that picture of a germ okay) crawling all over you at this very second so a few on an I-pad dosnt matter. btw I don't care about spelling
            • crazydave444
              crazydave4443/21/2014
              Oh my god i use my phone a lot and there is germs on it?!?! EWWW!!!!!!
              • kell-bell
                kell-bell4/7/2014
                there are germs everywhere okay. don't be so scared. not making fun By the way.
              • headream100
                headream1003/19/2014
                Why is it that I'm calm even while touching my ipad this very minute to write this comment
                • funreader1432
                  funreader14323/15/2014
                  distgustinggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg! I want a new screen protector for my appliances
                  • cz
                    cz3/13/2014
                    lol
                    • aylarafiq
                      aylarafiq3/4/2014
                      im so disturbed every time isee this article wen i see this i look at mi ipod so disturbed then i look back at the article

                      Vocabulary

                      ailmentsbacteriafazedharboredimprintinfectionsintermittentlyintriguingpersistentrevert

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